There's a Trick of the Light I'm Learning to Do

This is a collection of songs I wrote and recorded in January - March, 2020 while on sabbatical from ministry. They each deal with a different aspect or expression of the Gospel. Click on the image above to listen.

Three Hands Clapping

This is my latest recording project (released May 27, 2019). It is a double album of 22 songs, which very roughly track the story of my life... a sort of musical autobiography, so to speak. Click the album image to listen.

Ghost Notes

Ghost Notes
A collections of original songs I wrote in 2015, and recorded with the FreeWay Musical Collective. Click the album image to listen.

inversions

Recorded in 2014, these songs are sort of a chronicle of my journey through a pastoral burn-out last winter. They deal with themes of mental-health, spiritual burn-out and depression, but also with the inexorable presence of God in the midst of darkness. Click the album art to download.

soundings

soundings
click image to download
"soundings" is a collection of songs I recorded in September/October of 2013. Dealing with themes of hope, ache, trust and spiritual loss, the songs on this album express various facets of my journey with God.

bridges

bridges
Click to download.
"Bridges" is a collection of original songs I wrote in the summer of 2011, during a soul-searching trip I took out to Alberta; a sort of long twilight in the dark night of the soul. I share it here in hopes these musical reflections on my own spiritual journey might be an encouragement to others: the sun does rise, blood-red but beautiful.

echoes

echoes
Prayers, poems and songs (2005-2009). Click to download
"echoes" is a collection of songs I wrote during my time studying at Briercrest Seminary (2004-2009). It's called "echoes" partly because these songs are "echoes" of times spent with God from my songwriting past, but also because there are musical "echoes" of hymns, songs or poems sprinkled throughout the album. Listen closely and you'll hear them.

Accidentals

This collection of mostly blues/rock/folk inspired songs was recorded in the spring and summer of 2015. I call it "accidentals" because all of the songs on this project were tunes I have had kicking around in my notebooks for many years but had never found a "home" for on previous albums. You can click the image to download the whole album.

blogs I follow

Readings, 2020

Readings, 2020
Paradise Lost, John Milton

Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson

The Soul of Shame, Curt Thompson

Cure for the Common Life, Max Lucado

Halos and Avatars, Craig Detweiller, ed.

Fool's Talk, Os Guinness

Brendan, Frederick Buechner

The Screwtape Letters

Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis

The Pilgrim's Regress, C. S. Lewis

Becoming Whole, Brian Finkert and Kelly Kapic

Real Sex, Lauren Winner

Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis

Voyage to Venus, C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis

Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis

random reads

On Kafka Dreams

Along with George Orwell (who gave us "Orwellian") and Cervantes (who gave us "quixotic"), Franz Kafka is one of those few writers of world literature whose work has become its own adjective. According to my dictionary, to call something "Kafkaesque" is to claim that it is "impenetrably oppressive, nightmarish." Just like a good Kafka story.

If you've never read a good Kafka story, I'd suggest starting with Metamorphosis. A good follow-up would be In the Penal Colony. And for the less-faint-of-heart, The Trial. His stories all deal with these perplexed characters who are haunted by some vague, oppressive guilt that they can never get to the bottom of, and every attempt to expiate it only unravels into more bizarre experiences of guilt. A man wakes up inexplicably transformed into a giant insect; a man opens a closet door and finds himself stepping into a macabre courtroom where he is inexplicably on trial; a man commits suicide in a torture machine that etches his inexplicable crime into his back. And no one will ever say why.

There's a scene in Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin insists that his mom give Hobbes a good night kiss, after which Hobbes claims: "If you don't get a good night kiss, you get Kafka dreams."



I get Kafka dreams once in a while. Even with my good night kiss.

A friend at seminary was doing his thesis on G. K. Chesterton's The Man who was Thursday, and his research led him to Kafka at one point. We had a few good conversations about the existential guilt in Kafka's work. Later I was thinking about this comic strip, and my friend's thesis, and guilt and shame and other Kafkaesque things. Eventually my thoughts stumbled into a piano tune I was working on and I wrote this song, "Kafka Dreams."



I wonder if Christians-- and especially those who grew up comfortably in the Faith-- shouldn't read a bit of Kafka once in a while. That acrid taste of guilt just might sharpen our thirst for the promise of atonement and reconcilliation that God offers us in the person of Jesus Christ.

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